The prince-bishop's „Powder Mill“

Trade & Craft

Funktionsschema einer Pulvermühle von 1661. Kupferstich von Georg Andreas Böckler (1661). Quelle: Deutsche Fotothek (Sächsische Landesbibliothek).

At the beginning of the 17th century, there was also a princely „powder mill“ in Neuhaus for the production of gunpowder.[1] Whether this was designed as a water mill can only be assumed. The official accounts reveal that the mill building had glazed windows. In 1607, a „Schnitker Heinrich“ charged the court 3 Taler, 4 Schilling and 8 Pfennig for the production of the corresponding wooden frames and „several small tables“. Likewise, a master glazier „Jorgen“ was paid for glazing the windows. Near the mill stood another house, on which two men from Elsen worked for 9 days. A year earlier, in the summer of 1606, the Neuhaus „powder maker“ had bought sulphur in Paderborn, which he charged the princely treasury at 7 Taler, 10 Schilling and 6 Pfennig.[2] Until the 1660s, a powder maker was also one of the prince-bishop’s court servants who worked on the outworks of Neuhaus. A personnel list of 130 persons „who are ordinarily fed at the princely castle and in the outwork“ lists the „powder maker with the boy“.[3] In a more recent list from 1762, however, this charge is missing.[4] One may therefore assume that the powder mill established under Prince-Bishop Dietrich von Fürstenberg (officiating 1585-1618) was shut down in the 18th century.

Functional diagram of a powder mill from 1661
Functional diagram of a powder mill from 1661. Copper engraving by Georg Andreas Böckler (1661). Source: Deutsche Fotothek (Saxon State Library).

[1] Cf. Ämterrechnungen Neuhaus (1606/07), LA Münster, Fürstbistum Pb, Nr. 1050, fol. 98r.

[2] Cf. Ämterrechnungen Neuhaus (1606/07), LA Münster, Fürstbistum Pb, Nr. 1050, fol. 136v.

[3] Quoted from Kanne, Familien in Neuhaus, p. 92f.

[4] Cf. Kanne, Familien in Neuhaus, p. 93.

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